Yes, Virginia, there is still one thing that people can agree on
It may come in different shapes and sizes but almost everyone is willing to share it
What one thing is:
Enjoyed each day by 13% of the US population over the age of two,
Consumed 27.5 times a year on average by every person who lives in Norway,
Had a cameo appearance on Home Alone, Breaking Bad, and Friends,
Won a Guinness Book World Record for being the largest at 13,750 feet,
And cost $2,700 when it was made of squid ink, foie gras, truffles, and caviar?
Still don’t know?
This next one will give it away for sure.
Is absolutely never, ever, ever, ever supposed to have pineapple as a topping (in my opinion).
Finally, you got it. Pizza.
Everyone loves pizza.
My grandmother, who died at the age of 99, used to drive to Newton Highlands Pizza to buy two hot pizzas to serve to her grey-haired canasta card group. The guy at the cash register looked forward to their weekly chats about the best topping combos when she came to pick up her pies. Imagine the difference between Grammy (that is what we called her), who was an actual flapper in the 1920s (I’ve got the pictures), and Pizza Guy, who was from Albania and worked part-time on Sunday nights at the pizza place to make some extra money to send home to his family. On the surface, Grammy and Pizza Guy had nothing in common. But when it came to pizza, they both liked peppers, onions, and mushrooms on top.
How about the parents who come straight to the PTA meeting from work at a construction site, office cubicle, or boardroom? It doesn’t matter if they are wearing a suit and tie or work pants and boots; they are always thrilled to see the white cardboard box from Rico’s on the table. After a hard day, the moms and dads bond over a hot slice as they talk about the school’s upcoming fundraiser, playground project, or academic program.
And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention how pizza always makes the win feel bigger, or the loss feel smaller. You know the scene. When the kids, still dressed in their muddy uniforms with <insert name of pizzeria> sponsorship sewn in block letters on the back, meet up after the game at the local pizza spot. When it comes to pizza, no one cares if one kid is the star pitcher, one is the big shot slugger, and one is the lead bench warmer (that was me); they celebrate being a team as they laugh and burn the roof of their mouths on piping-hot slices.
So why not try Pizza Diplomacy?
I’m not going to get all cheesy on you (couldn’t resist), but in this day and age, where we are more divided than ever, I think it is time to tap into the power of “Pizza Diplomacy.”
As Michael Scott said in season 2 of the beloved TV series The Office, pizza is the Great Equalizer.
Imagine if Slice Joint, the new New York-style pizzeria on Capitol Hill, delivered pizzas to the House and Senate before a critical vote.
What if FedEx shipped arguably the world’s best pizza from I Masarielli in Naples, Italy, to the United Nations during a General Assembly meeting?
How about if Dominos, Pizza Hut, and Uncle Johns offered free pizzas when neighbors who had differing opinions about climate change, January 6th, and gun control sat down to share a pie?
I know you are thinking, how can a humble slice of flatbread, topped with tomato sauce, cheese, and some simple seasonings, change the world?
What we are doing right now isn’t working very well, is it?
Come on; we have nothing to lose. Invite someone who has different ideas about the world than you to share a pizza.
I can’t wait to hear what happens.
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Pizza Diplomacy for the win!!! Thanks for sharing this perspective, Marji -- brings back so many happy memories and meaningful moments over a slice or two. And creates hope for the possibility of people coming back together. Pondering whom I should invite for a pizza rendezvous...